Twenty-two-year-old rabble-rouser Lydia Loveless returns with another mercurial slice of hard-edged, smartly sung alt-country-flavored rock’n’roll. A talent to be reckoned with, Loveless knows how to put a song together from top to bottom, showing an accomplished grasp of structure and texture that renders her impressive vocal skills all the more striking. And while I don’t know how directly involved she is in production decisions, the fact that she in any case knows enough to end up in this setting speaks well for her vision. I am particularly taken with the combination we get here of limber bass work and droning guitar lines, which lies at the center of the song’s vigorous blend of bash and agility. I like loud stuff best when performed by folks who still seem to be paying attention to what’s going on around them.
Loveless was previously featured here in April 2012, and you should definitely check out that review if you want to learn a bit about her somewhat unusual past. The bottom line is whatever she’s been through and whatever combination of nature and nurture gave her her musical know-how, she’s a live wire who sings from somewhere deep inside; sparks fly from her smallest, instinctive shifts. Listen, for instance, to the end of the first time through the chorus, where one moment she tosses off a guttural “Uhh!” (1:58) only to swing seamlessly into a measure of lovely “oo-oo”-ing. I’m not sure you can teach that or even plan for it. And then, at the same place, the second time we hear the chorus, check out how she at once belts and breathes out the words “hit a home run” (3:15), somehow wrapping desire and frustration into one evanescent package.